Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kior: "We have substantial doubts about our abillity to continue", SEC subpoenas documents

Kior continued to disclose more bad news in its 10-K filing yesterday.  The company reported a loss of $347.5 million loss for 2013. The company operates a plant in Columbus and planned to open a larger one in Natchez.  The legislature approved $75 million in interest-free loans to Kior in a 2010 special session.   The plants are supposed to convert woodchips into crude oil and gasoline.  The project was supposed to create 1000 direct and indirect jobs in Mississippi as well as constructing up to five plants.   Copy of filing.  However, those plans may be pipe dreams. The filing says it all:

We have substantial doubts about our ability to continue as a going concern. To continue as a going concern, we must secure additional capital to provide us with additional liquidity. On March 16, 2014, we received an Investment Commitment letter from Vinod Khosla, pursuant to which Mr. Khosla has committed to invest in us a cash amount of up to an aggregate of $25,000,000 in available funds (either through personal funds, using funds held by a trust or entity he controls or to another assignee), which we refer to as the Commitment.....
Other than the Commitment, we have no other near-term sources of financing. Because the Commitment is subject to the negotiation and execution of definitive financing documents and the achievement of performance milestones, we cannot be certain as to the ultimate timing or terms of this investment. If we are unsuccessful in finalizing definitive documentation with Mr. Khosla on or before April 1, 2014, we will not have adequate liquidity to fund our operations and meet our obligations (including our debt payment obligations) and we do not expect other sources of financing to be available to us. This will likely cause us to default under our existing debt and we could be forced to seek relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (or an involuntary petition for bankruptcy may be filed against us). In addition, any new financing will require the consent of our existing debt holders and may require the restructuring of our existing debt. If we successfully achieve our performance milestones that allow us to receive the full Commitment in the near term, we expect to be able to fund our operations and meet our obligations until August 31, 2014, but will need to raise additional funds to continue our operations beyond that date....


Until recently, we have focused our efforts on research and development and the construction and operation of our initial-scale commercial production facility in Columbus, Mississippi, or our Columbus facility. We did not reach “steady state” operations at our Columbus facility nor were we able to achieve the throughput and yield targets for the facility because of structural bottlenecks, reliability and mechanical issues, and catalyst performance. In January 2014, we elected to temporarily discontinue operations at our Columbus facility in order to attempt to complete a series of optimization projects and upgrades that are intended to help achieve operational targets that we believe are attainable based on the design of the facility. While we have completed some of these projects and upgrades, we have elected to suspend further optimization work and bring the Columbus facility to a safe, idle state, which we believe will enable us to restart the facility upon the achievement of additional research and development milestones, consisting of process improvements and catalyst design, financing and completion of the optimization work. Unless and until we restart the Columbus facility, we expect to have no production or revenue from that facility.

Kior also recorded "impairments" of $196.3 million in December. The company states it only has assets barely worth more than the $75 million in loans it received from Mississippi: "Our total assets were $86.1 million, $296.0 million and $305.3 million at December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively". Ah yes, the $75 million loan. The company states on page 13:

As of February 28, 2014, we had aggregate indebtedness of $279.5 million. In December 2012, we began making semi-annual payments of $1.9 million under our loan with the Mississippi Development Authority, or MDA, which we refer to as the MDA loan, on June 30 and December 31 each year, which we must continue to make until maturity. If we do not successfully secure the funds under the Commitment, we do not, without additional financing, have the funds needed to make our payment due to the MDA on June 30, 2014, which would constitute a default under our MDA Loan. In addition, we must make specified investments within Mississippi by December 31, 2015, including an aggregate $500.0 million investment in property, plant and equipment located in Mississippi and expenditures for wages and direct local purchases in Mississippi totaling $85.0 million. Of the total amount committed to be spent, $218 million has been spent on plant and equipment as of December 31, 2013, leaving an amount of $282 million remaining to be invested, while expenditures for wages and direct local purchases totaled approximately $51 million at December 31, 2013 leaving $34 million remaining to be spent. Based on our current estimates, we believe that we will be unable to meet the specified investment requirement in property, plant and equipment and certain other expenditures in wages and direct local purchases under our MDA loan and if the Columbus facility is not operating for a significant portion of 2014, we expect we will be unable to meet the specified expenditures for wages and direct local purchases. Failure to meet these requirements would constitute a default under our MDA loan. Any defaults under our MDA Loan could, in turn, result in cross defaults under our other loan facilities.

Then there is this little matter of an SEC investigation (p.28):

On January 28, 2014, the SEC served us with a subpoena, pursuant to a formal order of investigation, seeking documents about, among other subject matters, the progress at our Columbus facility and the timing of projected biofuel production levels. We are committed to cooperating with the SEC and responding to the subpoena request. It is not possible at this time to predict the outcome of the SEC investigation, including whether or when any proceedings might be initiated, when these matters may be resolved or what, if any, penalties or other remedies may be imposed.

 Needless to say, Kior saw its share price decline today and in after-hours trading. It dropped 8 cents to $1.07 per share when the market closed and another 33 cents in after hours trading to 74 cents per share (A decrease of 30%).  The market cap is $118 million.

Related posts:
Kior halts production to make improvements
Kior lawsuit alleges shareholder fraud. Mississippi has $75 million at stake.
Kior doubles down in Columbus
As the Kior stock turns

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Only a 30% decrease after releasing that? Sheesh.

If a project cannot attract startup funding from savvy people who have a good track record of separating shit from shinola the government has absolutely no business in using tax money forcefully taken from taxpayers under penalty of imprisonment to try to jump-start a company or industry. Both parties do this and it never works.

Anonymous said...

Another fine feather in the economic development hat of Haley Barbour!

So when he and the other establishment Repubs tell you to vote for Thad you know, right there, it is going to be a great, great deal.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, 4:48 - assuming this project is a (total) failure - not necessarily these operators, but the entire loan fails - once you include all of the various projects assisted by MDA, what is the overall net result?

Most every lending institution (which I will readily agree the state, nor the fed, should be) operates on the assumption that not every deal will be a success. But just looking around the neighborhood from Kior, the several other projects (Eurocoptor, steel plant, etc.) have resulted in new and improved wages, private investment, and therefore more economic activity for existing businesses in the area.

Anonymous said...

On this particular blog site it's becoming as popular to 'Let's Blame Haley' as it for the Regime to 'Let's Blame George'.

Anonymous said...

Give credit where credit is due, 6:49. (No pun intended.) Thank you once again, Gov./smartest-capitalist-in-the-world Barbour.

Pugnacious said...

If a project cannot attract startup funding from savvy people who have a good track record of separating shit from shinola...

The big question is why savvy Bill Gates' investment in KIOR was ONLY $15,000,000...and came about in the last stages of KIOR's downfall? The SEC could answer that question. I doubt they'll ever will.

But just looking around the neighborhood from Kior, the several other projects (Eurocoptor, steel plant, etc.) have resulted in new and improved wages, private investment, and therefore more economic activity for existing businesses in the area.

Severstal is a "Russian" oligarchy owned steel mill brought into Lowndes county by frontman John Correnti. The oligarch-owned corporation was lured in by cheap land, the Tuscaloosa aquifer, lax environmental law enforcement, the M&O railroad connection to the Port of Mobile and the Tenn-Tom Waterway. Servecor did not need MDA startup monies. John Correnti and the oligarch are NOT "Russian" nationals, which may save them from being listed on Obama's Neo-Con sanctions hit list.

Btw, the steel plant smelters are also used to burn large quantities of illicit drugs seized by DEA law enforcement.


Anonymous said...

6:49 The other recurring theme is Thad supports common core and Chis is against it. Of course Chris voted for common core by voting present and letting the others decide its fate.

Anonymous said...

Well, as time passes it has become painfully obvious that there is plenty to blame Haley for. It is okay if y'all in the Haley cult want to keeping drinking his koolaid and remain oblivious to the facts but please don't blame others when they choose to question King Haley's Obama-like track record for backing losing propositions.

Anonymous said...

I would encourage someone to dig into the facts of the MDA loan on KiOR before spouting off.

Anonymous said...

When did we decide that taxpayers are involuntary investors in business with no individual ownership in the investment?

If a business is a good idea that's viable, why can't they raise start up money?

This is corporate welfare.

The bogus " theory" that I'll reap some vague reward of reduced taxes or improved services in the future because the tax base has increased is not proving to be true.

Anonymous said...

Did the Haley Barbour regime decide who would get state money/loans/guarantees based on who the entity hired as their front man or lobbyist? Sure looks that way. You knew Kior was over when they hung out the traditional failed business "closed for remodeling" sign. One day we will awake to the news that somebody at MDA is in trouble for some of the money they have thrown around since 2005. I would welcome that news because it is way past time.

Anonymous said...

Now the House wants to put state money into the movie business.

Kingfish said...

Down to 63 cents per share. 44% loss since yesterday's price.

But that's ok. I'm ____ about to ____ have some ____ Quaaludes, some _____ wild sex, and_____ then _____ pump the ____hell out of this______ stock.

Anonymous said...

I am certain the State Auditor is on top of it, 9:02. Aren't you?

Anonymous said...

Thad claims he is against Obama Care. However, he voted for the Balanced Budget Act (signed by Obama on 12/31/13). The BBA included funding for the Affordable Care Act.

Kingfish said...

You made your Thad comment. That's it for this thread.

Anonymous said...

the car plant in tunica will be next.

Anonymous said...

9:02, Sure that is the way Haley works and now all of State government. Hire the right front man or lobby person and the deal is made.

Anonymous said...

It's all about the falling RFS mandate. The Bush and Obama renewable fuel gimme mandate is about to be throttled. No more mandated market makes KIOR a much riskier and much less attractive investment. From the KIOR 10-K

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry Page 16

The price of RINs may reduce demand for our products.

RFS2 allows additional RINs to be granted to obligated parties who blend into their fuel more than the required percentage of renewable fuels in a given year. These RINs may be traded to other parties or may be used in subsequent years to satisfy RFS2 requirements. The trading prices of renewable fuel and advanced biofuel RINs are influenced by, among other factors, the transportation costs associated with renewable fuels, the mandated level of renewable fuel use for a specific year, the possibility of waivers of renewable fuel mandates and the expected supply of renewable fuel products. Any reduction in the price of RIN credits could reduce the demand for our cellulosic gasoline and diesel. As discussed in the risk factor below, the EPA has proposed a 2014 cellulosic biofuel standard of 17 million gallons (ethanol equivalent), which is lower than the levels previously proposed and has had the consequence of severely depressing the RIN value we receive for the cellulosic gasoline and diesel that we produce.




Our future success may depend on our ability to produce our cellulosic gasoline and diesel without government incentives on a cost-competitive basis with petroleum-based fuels and renewable fuels derived from other sources, such as cane sugar or ethanol. If current or anticipated government incentives are reduced significantly or eliminated and petroleum-based fuel prices or competitive renewable fuel prices are lower or comparable to the cost of our cellulosic gasoline and diesel, demand for our products may decline, which could adversely affect our future results of operations.

Anonymous said...

Also from the KIOR 10-K page 17. Wonder if Haley and his buddies are working on this?

Changes in government regulations, including mandates, tax credits, subsidies and other incentives, could have a material adverse effect upon our business and results of operations.


The market for renewable fuels is heavily influenced by foreign, federal, state and local government regulations and policies. Changes to existing, or adoption of new foreign, federal, state and local legislative and regulatory initiatives that impact the production, distribution or sale of renewable fuels may harm our business. For example, RFS2 called for 16.55 billion gallons of liquid transportation fuels sold in 2013 to come from renewable fuels, a mandate that grows to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Of this amount, 6 million gallons (ethanol equivalent) of renewable fuel used in 2013 was required to be cellulosic biofuel and 16 billion gallons (ethanol equivalent) of renewable fuels used annually by 2022 must be cellulosic biofuel. On January 23, 2014, the EPA granted petitions for reconsideration of the 2013 cellulosic biofuel standard and stated that it will initiate a notice and comment rulemaking to reconsider the standard. The EPA has proposed a 2014 cellulosic biofuel standard of 17 million gallons (ethanol equivalent). This has had the consequence of severely depressing the RIN value we receive for the cellulosic gasoline and diesel that we produce because it reduces the demand for our products. The 2014 standard may be amended following comment, and following issuance of a final rule, third-parties may mount challenges. For example, the EPA’s 2012 cellulosic biofuel standard was challenged and ultimately vacated by a January 25, 2013 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which found that the EPA’s methodology improperly incorporated the goal of “promoting growth.”



The EPA Administrator is also required to reduce the mandate for cellulosic biofuel use if projected supply for a given year falls below a minimum threshold for that year. Any reduction in, or waiver of, mandated requirements for fuel alternatives and additives to gasoline may cause demand for renewable biofuels to decline and deter investment in the research and development of renewable fuels. The EPA Administrator could also revise qualification standards for renewable fuels in ways that increase our expenses by requiring different feedstocks, impose more extensive tracking and sourcing requirements, or prevent our process from qualifying as a renewable fuel under RFS2.



In the past, the U.S. Congress has passed legislation that extends tax credits for, among other things, the production of certain renewable fuel products as contemplated by our current process design. The cellulosic biofuel tax credit expired January 1, 2014, but a bill, H.R. 3758, is currently pending that would reinstate the tax credit through January 1, 2015. However, we cannot assure you that this bill will be passed or that any other favorable legislation will remain in place. Any reduction in or phasing out or elimination of existing tax credits, subsidies and other incentives in the United States and foreign markets for renewable fuels, or any inability of us or our prospective customers to access such credits, subsidies and other incentives, may adversely affect demand for, and increase the overall cost of our cellulosic gasoline and diesel, which would adversely affect our business. In addition, market uncertainty regarding future policies may also affect our ability to develop new renewable products and to sell products to our potential customers. Any inability to address these requirements and any regulatory or policy changes could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Anonymous said...

Bbbbbutt " we are the Saudi Arabia" of Pine trees!!! Yuk yuk yuk.. Said the beef plant politicians to Paul Gallo.
When I called and asked about a similarz plant failing in Georgia, Paul and BPP said that Mussippi state had checked it out, and it was guru ood as chees.

I wonder which family member got paid to do construction.

randywallace said...

Now trading at .66 and the market cap is roughly 4.5 million less than the $75M MDA loan. Lovely.

Anonymous said...

What is the scrap value? Scrap value minus BK legal fees = less than zero!
Too bad there isn't a lobbyist clawback provision available to the taxpayers here.

Anonymous said...

Amazing the roaches on here who parade in genius costumes.

Pugnacious said...

Paul and BPP said that Mussippi state had checked it out, and it was guru ood as chees.

Probably the same "cow college" engineers that designed and built all those MDOT highway death traps throughout the State. Is organic chemistry no longer part of the engineering school curricula at Miss. State?

Rumor is that one of the bridge spans at the infamous S-Curves in Laurel is going to have to be taken down and replaced due to structural failure in the supporting columns...bad concrete completions. I hope the contractor didn't "bet the farm" on that project.

The Mullen Era 4/5 said...

Curricula, curriculum, curriculums. Been waitin' on some Old Myth chump to blame poor industrial development decisions on the University of Starkville.

In the words of the famous Kingfish: 'Alright; you have leveled your punch at MSU. That's enough!'

Now.......back to Haley.

Anonymous said...

Fraud is a strong word. Can you see possible misrepresentation, negligence, misappropriation, or breach of duty in any of this? Does just one person make all the decisions in this fiasco?

Pugnacious said...

MSU President "Doc" Fogelsong.

Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Haley Barbour, along with FULL SUPPORT OF THE RINO REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE, did this: giving $75 M interest free to an EXPERIMENTAL startup company. The MDA assured everyone there were clawbacks in place -- because the Republicans had learned SO much from the stupid Democrats who lost $50 M on the Beef Plant.

You cant claw money back from a corpse.

This is in addition to $27 M lost on the Twin Creeks solar plant debacle.

Giving taxpayer money to startups = stupid.

Pugnacious said...

And MDA says "yes" to Honest John Correnti for another silicon plant in Burnsville!

This guy looks as he just stepped out of central casting. He reminds of Phil Silvers, who played the character
Honest John" Schaffer from the Beverly Hillbillies.

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